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Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

*Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

*Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James‬ ‭1:12‬‬

I hung up the phone and hung my head. Had I done enough? Was there something more I could have said…or said now to help? Psychologists have coined the term “Messiah Complex” to refer to individuals who have a firm belief that they are responsible for the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of others. At this point I was in full blown “Messiah Mode!”

The phone call was from a friend who had been struggling for years with relationship issues, self-doubt and fear. On the other hand she was compassionate, understand had, on the surface anyway, a deep love for Jesus. The last few months had been tough. Her family life was hard, her job ended, and God seemed unwilling or unable to help. Her phone call was short but not sweet. She’d had it with God and with living the illusion that he existed and cared about her. She asked me to leave her alone and not bother to pray for her because prayer is worthless.

I have to admit, I don’t blame her. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve struggled or seen the struggles of others and asked the “Why?” question.

There aren’t easy answers. He’s wonderful and confusing all at once. Yet, for me anyway, one thing I’ve noticed is that God’s greatest blessings often seem to come during, or on either side of life’s greatest trials. Had I not known the depths of despair, I never would have experienced the strength of his peace.

I’ll respect my friends desire for distance, but I’ll continue to pray that she sees the God I see. I don’t understand him, but I’m nothing without him. As Peter said when many were leaving Jesus because he disappointed them, “Where else can we go?”


I’ve often looked at this verse from 2 Corinthians and focused on the beautiful promise of the first half of the verse. NEW creations! Not refurbished. Not remodeled. Not modified. NEW! That’s grace! My loving Heavenly Father took this worthless pile of flesh and made something new. And, might I add, God don’t make no junk!

Then one day, rather somberly, I spent some time on the rest of the story.

“The old life is gone…”

Is it? The question haunted me. Yes, I’m forgiven. The debt of my sin is eternally washed away. On the inside I’m new, but this battle raging inside me continues on. Some days I’m strong and watch the enemy retreat. Some days he wins the battle.

Jesus’ invitation to follow him is no party. Instead of balloons there is hardship; instead of cake, temptation; the ice cream is replaced by worry. That’s when I’m also reminded I was never called to walk this road alone. My strength was never a factor, only my reliance on him.

Paul had a similar struggle he tells about in Romans. He loses with the reminder that only the grace of Jesus will rescue me from the battle. Some days I lose the battle. Some days I win. But in the end the war is won because of the empty tomb!

Father help me to live worthy of this new body. Give me a Holy Spirit power to leave the old behind and dwell in the new!

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